The Mares Puck Pro Dive Computer Review – Dive Deep, Dive Safe
Diving has really evolved over the past few years.
Especially when it comes to the equipment used.
Technological advancements in the equipment have made diving safer, more enjoyable, and above all, easier to understand most of the technical jargon that turned many would be divers away (diving table anyone?).
Most of these safety features and ease of understanding of the sport are due to one piece of equipment – the dive computer.
Dive computers like the Mares Puck Pro dive computer have made it possible for novices to become proficient divers in a relatively short space of time.
Although diving may seem like a straightforward issue of just dropping yourself in the water and just enjoying the depths of the deep blue sea, it is more complicated than that.
For example, during a dive, because of the increasing pressure as you descend, it becomes easier for your body to absorb nitrogen into your body tissues. If too much nitrogen is dissolved into your body, it can cause you to suffer from what is called decompression sickness.
Although decompression sickness is usually mild, it can sometimes lead to some fatalities.
And that is one reason why early divers came up with dive tables, and also the reason the Mares Puck Pro diving computer is such a popular choice. Dive computers and dive tables are used by divers to calculate the depth and time of a dive so as to help them avoid decompression sickness.
Keeping decompression sickness at bay is crucial if you ate to have a great dive, and both the old and new methods of doing so are very accurate.
But the old method of diving tables is not so easy to get a hang of, hence the popularity of dive computers. That is not to say you should completely do away with your dive table, not at all. It is actually advisable to use your dive computer in conjunction with your dive table as the computer may at one point malfunction.
But, malfunctions aside, what advantages do dive computers hold over dive tables?
5 Benefits of Using a Dive Computer
I know there are many old-school divers who swear by their dive tables and shun dive computers. What, if any, ate the advantages of going digital?
Let me give you 5 reasons to switch from your old dive table to the modern equipment like the Mares Puck Pro dive computer.
1. Dive Computers Give Constant Feedback
Dive computers provide you with constant data to help you track your decompression status.
Because of the live feedback, you get more freedom on your dive – freedom to enjoy the beauty of your surroundings without having to worry about calculations.
Especially when you are diving to deeper depths, the real-time feedback is really crucial.
2. Longer Bottom Time
Dive computers can accurately calculate the amount of time you should be allowed underwater. This is because they take into account the changing depths for those times you dive on multi-level dives.
This is where dive tables short change you as you wouldn’t be able to take into account the amount of time spent at shallow depths. And as the whole purpose of diving is for the sake of enjoying the mysteries of the ocean, longer bottom times mean more fun. That, my friend, is why a dive computer should be your new best friend (sorry dive tables, it’s nothing personal).
3. Increased Accuracy
Dive table calculations are at best very close estimates. And that’s why it is very difficult to accurately determine your bottom time and the maximum depth of a dive.
This is where a dive computer makes diving easier and more fun as it gives you accurate information at every step of the way.
4. Dive Computers Have an Ascent Rate Gauge
One of the best features of a dive computer is the ascent rate gauge.
Every diver knows that ascending too fast (best rate is between 30 and 60 feet per minute) increases your chances of experiencing decompression sickness.
A dive table may tell when you should ascend from a dive, but it cannot tell you how fast you are actually ascending.
Dive computers, on the other hand, feature built-in ascent rate monitors that warn you if you are coming up too fast.
5. More Helpful Features
Depending on the type of dive computer you get, dive computers offer a lot of advanced features that increase your safety. High-end dive computers even feature air integration that allows you to know how much air you have in your dive tank and the cylinder pressure.
Now that you know what a dive computer like the Mares Puck Pro can do and why you need to get one, let’s get on with our Mares Puck Pro diving computer review.
The Mares Puck Pro Diving Computer
When it comes to mid-level diving computers, one of the best you’ll find on the market is the Mares Puck Pro.
The Mares Puck Pro is a super intuitive, very ergonomic, full-featured RGBM (Reduced Gradient Bubbles Model) nitrox dive computer. And one of its selling points is its extremely competitive price.
And yes, as its name says, it is the size of a hockey puck.
So, what makes the Mares Puck Pro diving computer one of the most trusted among recreational and beginner divers?
Let’s break down this great dive computer and see what exactly it brings to the table.
Mares Puck Pro Main Features
Computer Type: Wrist
Air Integration: No
Memory: 38 Hours
User Changeable Battery: Yes
Nitrox Compatible: Yes/ 21-99%
PC Interface: Yes (Not Included)
Gas Switching: Yes/2 Gases
Automatic Activation: Yes
Design and Build Quality
One of the factors that make the Mares Puck Pro an exceptional dive computer is its build quality.
Made from high-quality materials, the Mares Puck Pro is durable and hardy enough to withstand any beating you may put it through as you investigate the depths of the deep blue sea.
Featuring a large display for easier reading of the display, the Mares Puck Pro is surprisingly light for its size, making it one of the most ergonomic dive computers on the market.
Speaking of the ease of readability, the Mares Puck Pro features a backlit display that makes it even easier to see all the vital information the dive computer will be relaying to you. You can even adjust the time the backlight will switch off, helping you save the battery life (more on that later).
One thing about the design that makes the Mares Puck Pro user friendly is the one touch menu button.
This allows you to go through the menu just using one button.
To scroll through the menu, all you have to do is press the button. And to make changes, press and hold the button to put your desired change into effect.
Ease of Use, Features, and Functionality
Another feature that makes the Mares Puck Pro dive computer popular is its ease of use and functionality. With its user-friendly interface, you’ll find the Mares Puck Pro easy to navigate, read, and understand.
And as said, the one button menu navigation is easy to get a hang of and use.
But what features does this one button menu hide within its folders?
The Mares Puck Pro dive computer has 3 different modes for your different dives. These can be accessed from the mode menu only when the computer is on the surface.
Air Mode. Air mode is usually used when you are diving with standard air. This is the same as setting an EAN (enriched air nitrox) https://www.scubadiving.com/nitrox-scuba-diving-guide-certification to 21% and a ppO2 max of 1.4 bars. The Mares Puck Pro doesn’t show all this on the display but calculates it in the background and only shows the necessary information.
Nitrox. The Nitrox mode allows you to dive with gas mixtures of EAN greater than 21%. It gives you the ability to use 2 gas mixtures during your dive.
Bottom Timer. In the Bottom Timer mode, the Mares Puck Pro will not do any calculations for decompression and will not show any warning or alarms. It will only show your time, depth and temperature.
Once submerged, the Mares Puck Pro can record 35 hours of diving at a sample rate of 5 seconds in its dive log.
Most of the information can be shown directly on the display but you can download more information onto your computer via the USB cable. You will need to download the Dive Organizer software for free on Mares’ website.
A step above the previous Puck, the Puck Pro has upgradeable firmware that can be updated using the same USB cable.
You can set the Mares Puck Pro to sound some warning alarms to alert you of significant milestones on your dive. These alarms are both audio and visual.
The Mares Puck Pro dive computer will sound if you:
- Ascend from your dive too fast
- Are about to exceed the safe ppO2/MOD
- Reach a Nitrogen Saturation level of 100%
- Miss your decompression stop
- The alarm will also sound if your battery is low doing a dive
If you use the Mares Puck Pro as a backup dive computer, you have the option to disable the audio alarms to reduce confusion with your other dive computer’s alarms.
However, if you are a beginner diver and the Mares Puck Pro is your main dive computer, muting these alarms is unadvisable. Remember, these alarms are there to afford you a safe dive – and safety always comes first.
The Mares Puck Pro comes with a replaceable 3-VoltCR2450 battery that will last you anywhere between 300 to 500 dives depending on how and where you use it. For instance, if you use the backlight often, dive in cold water, and use your alarms a lot, you will reduce the battery life.
Although the battery icon doesn’t show when it has a lot of power, it starts flashing when the battery starts to run down. You will still have enough charge for a few more dives but it is advisable to get a new battery soonest.
The fact that it is rechargeable is a very big advantage but you have to be very careful when replacing your battery. Failure to do so will result in water seeping into your dive computer and ruining it.
The Mares Puck Pro Diving Computer – Putting the Fun and Safety into Diving
With the Mares Puck Pro, you are assured of a safe dive. And a safe dive results in a fun dive.
Because you don’t have to struggle with dive tables and calculations anymore, you will have more time to focus on the beauty of the ocean (or lake) has to offer.
Looking for a reliable dive computer that won’t break the bank? What about one that is simple and easy to use? Then it’s the Mares Puck Pro dive computer you are looking for.
It definitely does put the fun and safety into every dive.
Keyword: Mares Puck Pro diving computer